Whenever the seasons change, we feel the compulsive need to buy new clothes. We love new trends, we love shopping for new garments, and we love preparing for a new year! Sometimes, however, we feel a little guilty about spending so much money on new things when we have so many things at home. Besides that, DIY enthusiasts have the skills to make their old clothes into something new, so why not give it a try?
Check out these 15 fun ways to alter skirts and dresses or make them out of completely different pieces of clothing in order to give your wardrobe a total upgrade!
1. No-sew sleeve bows
Do you have a t-shirt dress that you love wearing but that you feel might be a little too plain after a few seasons? Spruce it up a little bit in a super easy way by making the sleeves into little cutout bows! Creating Laura shows you how to do it without even having to sew anything! Scissors and glue are all you need.
2. Skirt to slip dress
Do you have an old long skirt that you still love the fabric of but that you’re not really into the style of anymore? That doesn’t mean it’s no use to you anymore! Kier Couture guides you through the process of turning a long skirt into a cute, whimsical slip dress with a belt around the middle made from the waist band.
3. Flowing no-sew skirt
Do you have an old sheet or strips of nice fabric lying around that you’ve been meaning to use and just haven’t found the right project for yet? Then why not make yourself a whole simple skirt from it? We know this one isn’t technically a clothing alteration, per se, but you’re still upcycling something that’s already in your closet and giving it a new lease on life! Check the design out on Sincerely, Kinsey.
4. Skirt to cinched waist dress
Did you recently find a skirt in your closet that you like the fabric, trim, and embellishments of but you’re not a big fan of the length? Maybe it cuts the visual of your legs in a weird place or bothers you as you move. Instead of getting rid of it, try turning it into a tube dress that cinches in the middle but preserves that stylish hem detail that you loved so much! E-How shows you how it’s done.
5. T-shirt into cutout beach dress
Not all dress alterations actually start out as dresses. In fact, some of our favourite dresses in our closets were actually shirts first! Gina Michele suggests starting out with a long oversized t-shirt in a colour or design you like. Rather than just cinching it in the middle, create a cute cutout pattern around your waist that pulls the fabric in for a little extra style.
6. Laced collar and sleeves
Did you like the idea we talked about before of altering a t-shirt dress to give it a new lease on life, but keeping things rather easy? Maybe bows aren’t your thing so you’re looking for an alternative. Try lacing all across the shoulders and down the sleeves instead! Trash to Couture guides you through the process of cutting and weaving the top of the dress to make sure it still fits you perfectly.
7. T-shirt to casual strapless dress
Maybe you’ve got a t-shirt that’s an absolutely fabulous colour but it’s always been way too big? Turn it into something casual and comfy but a little more stylish instead! This cute strapless tube dress from Can-Can Dancer is perfect for an easy summer’s day around the cottage at the beach when you want to be comfy but still want to look stylish.
8. DIY hi-low skirt
Do you have a closet full of long maxi skirts that you loved wearing once upon a time but that you’ve had enough of because they’re out of season and you find them a little too warm to wear in the summer? Then transform them into a more updated style instead! We’re currently crazy about this “hi-low” style from Mr. Kate that gives you the long skirt illusion in the back but keeps things short and funky in the front.
9. Short shorts to cute skirt
Do you love the look of an adorable mini skirt in the summer but you’re actually a very active person who finds wearing skirts annoying because you always have to watch how you sit to stop the world from accidentally seeing what colour underwear you’re wearing? Then check out how Daisy Pickers transformed this pair of simple jean shorts into an illusion skirt!
10. Reviving an outdated style
Were you at a vintage store recently and you came across a dress made of gorgeous fabric and in your favourite colour, but you’re just not a fan of the outdated style? Well, grab it anyways, because it’s not a lost cause yet! Wearing it On My Sleeves guides you through the process of altering skirt heights and sleeve lengths in order to update a piece that’s just too good to pass up in other ways.
11. Make a simple dress larger
Have you ever found a dress that you absolutely love the pattern and style of but it’s just ever so slightly too tight around the bust or hips even though it fits overall? There’s a way to alter that too so that you don’t miss out on getting to wear something you like! Chic Steals shows you how to add a subtle panel into the side seam of the dress to give your body a little more room for comfort and make a cute tunic style at the same time.
12. Prom dress to fancy skirt
Are you still absolutely in love with the colour and silk finish of your old prom dress but you just don’t have any fancy occasions to go to that call for a whole fancy dress in that style? Beautiful Objects suggests turning it into a skirt instead! Sure, it’ll still be quite fancy, but it’ll be a much more versatile garment with the top trimmed and hemmed off so you can wear it with a cute blouse instead.
13. 80s prom dress into short party dress
If you’ve ever seen 80s prom dresses in your local thrift store, then you already know that they’re made from some of the best fabrics and patters, even if the styles and constructions are a little too outdated and funky for your current tastes. That’s why Buttons and Bird Cages decided to hack the prom dress style and teach you how to transform them into regular little cocktail dresses instead! Check the tutorial out for more detail.
14. Formal dress into tulle skirt
Did you like the idea of turning a prom dress into a skirt but you’re not sure that the other technique will work for you because your dress is actually made of tulle? Then here’s a more specific tutorial that will guide you in just the right direction every step of the way! See how to make tulle into magic on Brassy Apple.
15. Two old dresses into one party dress
Have you ever looked at two old dresses in your closet and realized that you love the top of one and the bottom of the other, but you’re not really into either full dress the way it is? Then try learning how to combine the two! The Help Mates shows you how to do it neatly and precisely so that no one will even be able to tell that you pieced the look together yourself.
Have you made refashioned dresses and skirts before that you were very proud of? Tell us all about how you did it in the comments section or link us to pictures of your work!